Summary of report content
Healthwatch Barnet gathered feedback from local people to find out about their experience of accessing their GP remotely. They carried out an anonymous online survey, 1-2-1 telephone interviews and community focus groups to capture insight from people who are both online and offline. Their findings revealed:
- People liked certain aspects of the new GP process – this includes the ease of using the online booking system, quick turnaround time from requesting an appointment and seeing the GP, and ability to collect prescriptions.
- Some people expressed that they felt safer having a remote appointment with their GP compared to attending in person due to the risk of catching COVID-19.
- People felt that remote appointments were more convenient, quick and time-efficient for many reasons, such as not travelling to the surgery, ability to book an appointment at any time of the day etc.
- However, people didn’t like certain aspects of the new process as well – this includes lengthy online forms with irrelevant questions, longer waiting time to get routine appointments and system inefficiencies resulting in increased access to more acute pathways.
- People had concerns about patient choice, their privacy and data security, the accuracy of “digital diagnosis” and gaps in communication, meeting people’s accessibility needs, difficulties for people who are digitally excluded and frustrations about lack of face-to-face access.
The report has several recommendations for the providers and contains a response from the North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group.